Should you use the so called 609 credit repair flaw?
A popular online search to fix your credit score quickly and affordably has been called the 609 loophole.
“Loophole 609 is a section of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that says if something is incorrect on your credit report, you have the right to write a letter contesting it,” said Robin Saks Frankel, expert in personal finance at Forbes Advisor.
The theory is that a credit bureau removes a specific mark if it cannot be proven. It’s a good thing if there is a legitimate error on your report.
But some YouTubers and credit repair companies promise to use loophole 609 to erase the real debts people owe without paying them.
This is done by writing what is called 609 letters to remove the old addresses from your account. Then additional letters are written indicating that the debt related to these addresses is not related to you. So the credit bureaus should remove it. But Saks Frankel said it was really a waste of time.
“It doesn’t matter how you submit it. There is no magic bullet or combination of words that will suddenly make your debt go away,” Saks Frankel said.
Even if you manage to get an address deleted, the debt is still tied to you through other means, like social security numbers, so the debt is still there when you apply for a loan or credit card. .
“The best way to repair your credit, unfortunately, takes time,” Saks Frankel said. “You are not going to go from a horrible credit score to a great credit score in six months.”
The first step to increasing your score: check for reporting errors and use the so-called 609 letters for their actual purpose.
You can get a free report each year from each of the three bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com.
The second step is to “start with something like a secured credit card,” Saks Frankel said. You deposit the amount of money you want to borrow, and after establishing a history with the lender, you can get that money back or exchange it for a regular credit card.
It’s important to remember that the things credit repair agencies say they can do for you, you can do for yourself, and for free.